James Weinheimer wrote:

> FRBR proposes to take out data that is now in the
> "manifestation" record and put certain parts of it into a "work"
> instance, while other data will go into an "expression" instance.

No.  Most emphatically, NO.  This is at the heart of your fundamental 
misunderstanding of FRBR.

Just as FRBR has nothing to do with the display of information to the user, 
FRBR also has nothing to do with the storage of data.  FRBR has to do with the 
identification of entities and their attributes, and the relationships between 
entities.  That is all.

If the MARC format were robust enough, we could discretely identify ALL of the 
entities, attributes, and relationships for any one given resource in a single 
MARC bib record.  All of the work data, expression data, manifestation data, 
and item data.  It would still be "FRBR compliant".  Or it could be so 
scattered that each individual character in the description were in its own 
"record" somewhere, but able to have all of the thousands and thousands of 
characters pulled together for a coherent display for the user.  And that would 
also still be "FRBR compliant".

There is nothing at all in FRBR saying that we have to "take" data "out" and 
"put" it somewhere else.  We don't put stuff into a "work" container, or an 
"expression" container.  All it's saying is that we somehow identify it in a 
way that we can relate it.  But to beef up the MARC format enough, we'd need to 
add many, many more tags, indicators, subfield codes, etc. in order to identify 
all of the different entities and attributes.  And it's been pretty much 
decided that the work to do that would be too great.  Yes, we can identify some 
of the FRBR elements right now, and can do some things that years ago would 
have been thought of as impossible.  But it's nowhere near what we should be 
able to do, because the data just aren't able to be identified precisely enough.

Kevin M. Randall
Principal Serials Cataloger
Northwestern University Library
(847) 491-2939

Proudly wearing the sensible shoes since 1978!

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